Me with clutch purse made from recycled pop-can pull-tabs
According to Wikipedia, Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.
I recently learned about upcycling after a Sunday morning brunch with a friend at Aux Vivres, a favourite Montreal vegan restaurant, when we discovered a hip, little, eco shop while walking down St Laurent blvd. Il était deux fois (Once upon two times) is the newest boutique to have opened up by an American transplant that saw a market for recycled items at a premium price.
Purses made from discarded candy wrappers and pop-can pull tabs
Decisions, decisions; so many purses to choose from. These chic and unique purses are definite art pieces. What I really like the most about them, besides being made from what would otherwise be discarded, is that they are all fair-trade. Each purse is signed by the maker themselves from a shop in Brazil. I won’t lie, these purses cost a pretty penny, i believe the clutches start around $50 or so, but at least you know the money is going to a good cause.
Back in April 2009, I bought an Ecoist purse at the airport in DC, that was made with misprinted magazine papers from Mexico. I’ve also seen them made form New York subway tickets and Wrigley gum wrappers. And if you think this sounds junky, don’t be fooled, these purses are showing up in the latest fashion magazines like Vogue and on runways across Europe! Green fashion is so hot right now!
Cork boards made from reused wine corks and hockey stick mirrors
Do you like to drink wine? I sure do! This wine cork board is the perfect way to reuse corks and who doesn’t need an extra place to pin important pieces of paper or concert tickets to a wall? And talk about these mirrors made from broken hockey sticks! With such a vintage look, they would be the perfect decoration for any boys’ bedroom wall.
Escama Studio pop-can pull-tab bracelets and necklaces
These jewellery pieces were the best. Necklaces and bracelets made from pop-can pull-tabs. These ones were made from the Brazilian company Escama Studio. Whoever would have thought that something so cheap could produce something so glamourous.
I bought a bracelet for myself. It cost me around $25 but I feel good knowing that my money is going to a fair-trade company helping to get Brazilians off the street.
The next time you go to throw something away in the trash, just ask yourself if there’s a better way. Could you reuse it in some way shape or form to create a masterpiece? Could it become the next art project for your kids perhaps?
If visiting Montréal, check out this 3-block strech of St Laurent boulevard between Mont-Royal and Villeneuve which is now being dubbed the Green Mile full of eco-boutiques, veggy restaurants and high-end consignment stores.
Il était deux fois is located at 4539 St-Laurent Boulevard in Montreal (1 block north of Mont-Royal).